Saturday, October 30, 2010


Why does visualizing something have the same effect on our minds as physically doing it?

The secret lies in the way our brain works.

Every action produces a neural pathway in our nervous system. At first, the neural pathway is like a slender thread, and the more we repeat the same action, the thicker the neural pathway becomes. When the neural pathway becomes as thick as a highway, the action becomes what we call habits.

Our brain is unable to tell whether we are physically taking an action, or we are just imagining ourselves taking an action. So, we can either physically or mentally construct the neural pathway or highway – the outcome is the same.

Therein lays the power of visualization.

We can turn a neural pathway into a highway just by visualisation!

Let’s say we aim to achieve great tee offs just like Tiger Woods.

We can fulfil our ambition by going to the driving range and practice tee offs a 1000 times every day. Yes, the champions do that (and more).

Or you can get that result by practicing the 1000 tee offs in your mind!

While mental rehearsals alone would not guarantee a perfect performance the next time you take to the tee box, it will certainly enhance your performance than if we just practice physically. Yes, the champions do that too i.e. combine physical and mental training.

Besides building neural highways, visualisation is also another powerful way to programme our reticular activating system or RAS.

A compelling reason why we visualise our intention is to create a set of instructions for our RAS to carry out.

When we visualise our intentions, our RAS receives our desire as a clear instruction and starts seeking things to bring it to us.

The people who will help us, financial and physical resources that we need, information resources, clients, and other necessary things, will appear. Thanks to our RAS.

How does visualisation prime our RAS?

Repeated mental rehearsals force us to get very specific about what we want, rather than just having some "vague idea". Our RAS likes clear instructions.

I will talk about how to visualise in the next posting.

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